29.03.2005 Disaster

Dokyiwa tailings dam to cause disaster if ...

29.03.2005 LISTEN

Obuasi, March 29, GNA - Fears are mounting over the possible collapse of the AngloGold Ashanti (Obuasi) tailings dam at Dokyiwa, near Obuasi, if the illegal mining activities known as 'galamsey' going on there are not stopped immediately.

The collapse of the dam would definitely cause one of the biggest disasters, as the flowing tailings would cover all nearby communities including Binsere and Dokyiwa, as well as their farms and farmlands. The 'galamsey' operators are busily digging holes close to the inner walls of the dam, which could lead to its collapse. These came to light when the acting Obuasi Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Joe Boampong led a team of management staff from AngloGold Ashanti to hold discussions with the Binsere and Dokyiwa communities over the threat of the 'galamsey' activities to the dam and the consequences of its eventual collapse.

The management team were made up of Messrs John Cudjoe, the Geotechnical Manager (Production), Kingsley Asamoah, Environmental Manager, F.A. Danquah, Deputy Head of Special Services Division, Paul Boateng, acting Chief Security Officer (Sanso), Sarpong Boateng, public relations officer and Elton Annan, The Community Development Superintendent.

Mr Boampong warned, "The way the activities of galamsey are eating into the walls of the tailings dam, danger is ahead". The Municipal Chief Executive said compensation could be paid to farms that would be destroyed as a result of the collapse of the dam, but the tendency was there for the whole communities to be covered by the tailings.

He reminded the people about the poisonous and hazardous nature of the dam and advised them to stay away from it.

Mr Cudjoe told the communities that signs of collapse of the dam had been detected on the walls and that it was important for the communities to assist in checking the illegal mining activities. Opanin Kwame Dapaah, an ex-chief of Dokyiwa poured venom on the management of AngloGold Ashanti for not considering the welfare of the people in the two communities.

"I had even organised the youth to go on demonstration against the company but because of the presence of the Municipal Chief Executive, I have asked them to stop", he said.

Opanin Dapaah said the company promised them with electricity, but as at now, nothing had been done.

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